Q&A: Bat House

By Liz Partsch, Contributor
[Photo by Harley Wince, Visual Media Director]

Q&A with Shane Blank and Emmet Hayes of Massachusetts-based “neo-punkadelica” outfit Bat House.

How did the band form? 

SHANE: We met in school. So the four of us are all from different places in the country. I’m from Florida, Emmet here is from California and the two ladies are from Las Vegas. The three of us me, Emmet, and Ally [Juleen] from Las Vegas met in school and then Kate [Siefker]—we actually met on a tour with another drummer of ours, like forever ago, and then she joined the band a year ago, and she’s from Indiana.

Were you in other bands before Bat House?

EMMET: Definitely been in a lot of bands before this.

SHANE: Yeah, same. I know Kate has been in a bunch of bands; she has toured a lot. We have actually all been in other bands before. 

Who are your influences?

SHANE: It definitely changes a lot based on what we are all into at one particular time or another. We like all types of stuff—like we love The Beatles, but we also love a lot of rap, beat-driven stuff like MF Doom.

EMMET: DJ Shadow.

SHANE: DJ Shadow is really good. Katie is really into techno; she’s really turning us on to a lot of techno stuff, and that’s really good. A lot of R&B too—like old school, older kind of R&B like Erykah Badu, but obviously like, Tame Impala and more contemporary rock.

EMMET: And also Krautrock I would say. 

SHANE: We really like this band Can.

EMMET: Can—they are awesome. They are so sick. We have a lot of influences. We could probably talk about it for an hour.

I loved the cover art for your EP, Stop Dying. Did you work with an artist or did you do it yourself?

EMMET: So we kind of just like recorded it in a studio called 1867 in Boston, and they have a lot of really old stuff there. They had an old organ, like sheet music book that had a very similar graphic to what we ended up using, and we just drew inspiration from that. It’s from over a hundred years ago.

SHANE: Yeah, it’s from the late 1800s.

EMMET: Yeah, like 1890 or something.

SHANE: Yeah, and it was just a bunch of organ solos, and we looked at the album or at the cover of the book, and we’re like, “Wow, this is so very futuristic for the time.”

Are you guys working on another album? Future plans?

SHANE: Yes, actually a lot of the stuff we will be playing tonight is gonna be pretty new. We gotta write all the music first, and then we’ll record it probably beginning of next year. But as far as a release, we are gonna take time out. The last thing we put out; we recorded it and got it done. We took our time with all that, and then the release ended it. We kinda put it out quickly. We wanna really savor it this next round.

Any new artists that have been on your radar?

SHANE: As far as new people, personally I really liked Tyler, The Creator’s new record. I thought that was really good. I also really like the record he put out before that; I heard that and thought that was good. Ally, the other guitar player, we listen to all different types of stuff, but I think she listens to the most recent stuff. We have all really loved SZA—her Ctrl record was really good. I like a lot of new rap shit too, though. For like late-night drives, Travis Scott is really nice. It keeps you going. Kendrick Lamar too is like, obviously great. As far as rock stuff, I really like this band Palm—they’re from Philly, and they put out a record not too long ago. Another band called the Spirit of the Beehive is also good. 

If you had to go out to dinner with any musician (dead or alive), who would it be?

SHANE: I think Miles Davis would be a really good one. He’s dead, but I also don’t think he would make a really good dinner guest.

EMMET: Yeah, he’d probably be kind of a dick.

SHANE: He was kind of infamously a mean person, but if I had to pick someone just to hang out with it would probably be like Willie Nelson. And he is still alive and old—and just really nice.

Stream Bat House’s latest EP, Stop Dying, below. 


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